A little help with heat management...

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by jwbbq, Sep 21, 2008.

  1. Hey gang,

    I just modded my CG Outlaw with the standard kit.

    I've been burning it empty today to get an idea about the heat, time, etc.

    I burned one chimeny (the weber chimney) of kingsford in the SFB and got a sustained 220-225 for about 2 hours.

    It hit 200 with the kingsford still producing heat and about 1/2 disintegrated.

    I added about a 3/4 chimney of Duraflame lump. I've never used it before and wanted to see how it burned (I've read some of the reviews).

    Long story short, with still quite a bit of fuel producing heat in the SFB I'm only getting about 175 at grill level. I've adjusted the SFB vent to about 3/4" open and the lid vent to about 1" but it didn't seem to have much affect.

    Any ideas what I can do to get the heat up without going through truckloads of fuel or should I just expect to go through a lot of fuel when smoking?
  2. roadrunr

    roadrunr Meat Mopper

    ya need to run that top vent wide open, in fact take the damper off and put a rain hood on it. are ya buildin the fire right on the sidebox grate, or in a charcoal basket? the ash from the first kingsford chimney full may be choking the lump. just a few thoughts
  3. davidmcg

    davidmcg Meat Mopper

    Well this is a little generic because I do not have any experience with your smoker but is pretty much standard for most smokers out there. First and foremost, your chimney vent needs to be wide open -- no choke. Your vent for the firebox, you didn't say how far open it was, hopefully at least halfway. That is the starting point for learning. Not enough heat, open up the airflow at the bottom, too much heat, close it down a little. Now lets say you had it set about right and the chimney wide open, another suggestion might be that your charcoal dust might be too thick and therefor choking off the airflow. You might try removing some of the ashes and see if that makes a difference. Might also try a different brand of lump. If you have a Wal-Mart close by go pick up a bag of Royal Oak. They sale a 10 pond bag for about $4.50. R.O. burns nice and hot and produces very little ash. They have a greater number of larger chunks as compared to the smaller chunks than most brands. Might I also inquire if you use a pan with either water or sand? Sometimes that can make a difference to heat retention and transfer. Also, what was the weather like? Wind, humidity and rapid temp changes can play havooc.
  4. I had the SFB vent open at 3/4" most of the time. Tried it closed down to 1/2" for a short time.

    I have expanded metal in the SFB for the fuel and also stirred the coals with a poker about once an hour to knock ash off (mostly from the kingsford).

    I wasn't cooking anything so I wasn't using a water pan but I've filled the bottom of the cooking chamber with sand.

    I'm using the dryer hose extension from the chimney and have steel tuning plates in the food chamber.

    I've filled holes with RTV and have also attached wood-stove door insulator to all edges of the cooking chamber as well as the edges of the SFB door.

    The weather was mild, in the low 70s for most of the time with little to no wind.

    I haven't yet checked my wal mart for the RO lump but will tomorrow.

    It sounds like I just need to open it up more.

    Thanks for the feedback.
  5. smokin365

    smokin365 Smoking Fanatic

    Sounds like u already have the answer. another thing that you can do if you cant seem to get enough air is slide the drawer out about 1/4 inch, but watch it real close. If that dont work, have Strongbad send Trogdor over!
  6. bbq bubba

    bbq bubba Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Air = heat. [​IMG]

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